Monday, August 17, 2015

Aug. 17

Ministry Partners,

It's hard to believe that I have been home for two week but my busy schedule tells me that it is a fact.

I have not had time to fully process all the aspects of the trip but I find that as I am sorting some of the 4,000+ photos from the trip that they remind me just a few of the miracles I watched the Holy Spirit orchestrate every day and that is not an exaggeration it is a fact. 
A beautiful new friend from the women's conference
Every trip we say it could not get better but every year we watch God do the impossible over and over again as He opens doors no man can shut and this year was just another example.

It began when the trip was first announced and he provided just the right team member in Chad. IRM and I have been so blessed to have Africans and Americans work with us who have a servants heart and see the value in what God has called all of us to be a part of in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Of course I knew we would watch God do great things as the attacks from the enemy to get my focus in the ditch continued until my time of departure but I learned some time ago to use each "attack" as an opportunity to give God praise for His control, goodness and faithfulness. Upon arriving in Rwanda we discovered that our Rwandan partners were also dealing with attacks from the enemy.

The teams could only praise and worship God as we watched the Holy Spirit bring 1,000's to saving knowledge in Jesus Christ, more that any other trip and the same was true with those who chose to "forgive others or themselves". The powerful teaching on forgiveness is important for everyone but I find it is very difficult for some people to extend forgiveness to others although they claim God's forgiveness for themselves. Our time in Africa gave the Holy Spirit the opportunity to work in the hearts of villagers, prisoners, officials and team members.

Scripture teaches that salvation is all God's work. Those who believe are saved utterly apart from any effort on their own (Titus 3:5). Even faith is a gift of God, not a work of man (Eph. 2:1-5,8).

I remain thankful for IRM's wonderful American partners who continue to support this ministry with their prayers and financial support who supplied the $64,500 needed for our Africa fiscal year budget, ministry trip budget and Africa Bible Project.
I will have my new power point presentation ready for viewing in a couple of weeks. If you have not already contacted me for a showing or you would like to receive my newsletter just email me at: with Africa presentation in the subject line

As far as a 2016 ministry trip to Africa ........... I plan on following God's leading, as I do each year, and wait for Him to open the door but in that vane please pray for God's perfect will to be revealed and wisdom for the IRM leadership.
Bye for now

That none would be lost,

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Aug. 3

Ministry Partners,

Today is my last morning to be awakened by the pounding rain outside and yet there was no time to lay there and enjoy the smell and sounds of God's provision for this beautiful country not forgetting that although there was resulting puddles there also was less red dirt flying.

I repacked some and gave away more, all the while praying that the weight would be alright and not over.

We were unable to have our last breakfast in the garden but did have it under the porch while discussing the events of the day. When I arrived back at my room there was a envelope under my door, it was from Julius. A long beautiful handwritten letter accompanied by a photo of his beautiful family including his sweet almost 2 yr. old baby girl.

We had a wonderful lunch with the Gov. officials we had worked with and then it was time to go back to home base for the last time for me, Alfred and Aaron will stay one more night since after taking me to the airport for my flight it will be midnight before they get back, far to late to find another place to stay.

When we arrived back at the hotel I had one of the staff come and need to talk for a bit then I called Alfred and we prayed together with them. Pray for God's leading and provision for O.

As we were loading up and about to pull out Julius appeared with pineapple, cut and fixed to transport, for us to snack on as we took the 2 1/3 - 3 hour journey to the airport in Entebbe. It's not that long a drive in miles but the traffic makes it that way. I am still amazed that in the dark with no street lights the vendors who are cooking absolute everything and others selling their wares can carrying on such business as the streets and "sidewalk areas" are filled with people. Many are not there during the day but appear at or after dark.

God was again so gracious to me as he know how nervous I get at check-in when I am by myself. Security check-in in Rwanda and Entebbe is at the entrance of the airport so no one is able to wait in line with me or accompany me to the counter. But this time Alfred told them, like he had last year with different results, that I was disabled and need help with getting my luggage checked in AND they told him to go ahead with me to the counter. GOD'S GOODNESS IS ALWAYS AMAZING!!! Alfred helped me get everything checked in and even the bag I had concerns about weighing too much was fine.

Then it was time to say goodby to my very special son. It seems to get harder for both of us as we don't know what God may have in mind for next year. 

Alfred, Arlene, Aaron & Geoffrey

Goodby Africa ~~~~~~ Portland, here I come ................

That none would be lost,

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Aug. 2

Ministry Partners,

I would have thought I was in Oregon as I woke  this morning to the sound of rain falling outside my open windows. One thing about it is that those who clean all the outside tile walkways and steps will not have to splash water on them to wipe them clean this morning. As we finished eating Julius came by and when I requested a photo with him he said that's why he came by, he also wanted one.
By the time we had finished breakfast, and not in the garden today, the rain  had stopped although it was still overcast.

Upstairs in a conference room, adjacent to the guys room, they were up last night practicing their music for the crusade that would take place there today. So I am happy for those coming on the most popular mode of travel, motor bikes, that the rain has stopped. I am happy my room is on ground level so I do not have to climb the stairs and I can have our portable sound system in my room thereby also being ably to play Lugandan Christian music while it is charging for the next day. My room maid said they will miss me and they will miss hearing my music. Many of them have told me how much they appreciate hearing the music as they work.

Julius laughed today when  he said that when he first heard them practicing for the crusade .... it was quite loud ..... he thought I had taken my sound system outside and turned it up more than usual.

It was difficult after breakfast to face the fact of packing up the sound system and other items that needed to be wrapped well and taped shut in an effort to preserve things clean and well if God brings me back next year. Geoffrey told Alfred that the church had a sound system and ours would not be needed BUT it just seemed far to final as I placed the tape on each box!

Pastor Geoffrey arrived about 10 and as soon as the guys had everything loaded for the day we were off to the church he had chosen for us to minister in. Imagine my delight when Julius climbed into our van to go with us, he wanted to hear "Mom" preach. We arrived at the church, World Healing Embassy, while their choir was singing and then they sang a second song in English. I am not sure it was done just to bless the visitors, us, but it did.  As we were seated one of the women in leadership came, got down on her knees, greeted me and handed me a bottle of water. Although it is their culture it is still hard for me to be greeted in such a manner.
The pastor then introduced Pastor Geoffrey who then introduced me and I introduced the team. It was another powerful day of watching the Holy Spirit work. After announcements the pastor called me forward again to close in prayer but as I was praying something interesting happened that I will share when I get home. I cannot tell you how excited they were to receive some Bibles and Booklets for their church. And I also left them with bags of ties for the men and scarves were handed out to the women as they dismissed. I was disappointed that the pastor's wife for me to was not there for me to meet but I gave him her gift and the church members seemed ever so pleased to see him holding it 
 as the gift bag appeared to be a woman's purse.
Pastor Jordan & Arlene @ World Healing Embassy

After services Julius returned to Joka's to work and we proceeded to the house Geoffrey rents to leave all the items for storage and then I took the team for a "Thank You" dinner. We had a good meal and then each shared about the impact of the trip on us and how we appreciated each other. The team shared a time of laughter and of tears. I really am blessed to be serving alongside men that have such a heart for sharing the Gospel and men who are willing to make whatever person sacrifices are necessary so that the lost hear about God's great love for them.
Arlene & Julius
 When we arrived back at home base Alfred and I worked on the final financial paperwork while Julius surprised us for a second time with a tray of ice cold pineapple to munch on while we worked.

It's so very hard to believe that this is my last night here but the packed bags in my room lend evidence to the fact.
Tomorrow is the last morning I will see this smiling face serving me breakfast
We have a luncheon scheduled for tomorrow and then the guys will take me to Entebbee to catch my very late night flight.

That none would be lost,

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Aug. 1

Ministry Partners,

So the packing has began in earnest.

My room maid, Olive, is just so sweet and works so hard keeping everything in my room and other rooms so clean. I always know when she has been working in the area as even the hall has a nice clean smell to it. I asked her to choose a shawl from the stack I was going to be giving away and she had difficulty finally asking me to just pick one for her. I told her it was her shawl and I wanted her to have the one one her choice. The donated shawls and shopping bags are making such nice gifts for those who have served and cared for the IRM team while we have been here.
Olive, sweeping my room carpet .......

.......... and cleaning the tile hallway with a wet towel
 Julius, one of my "sons", who works here came to my open window to say hello and let me know he watches when I close my curtains and go to bed. He was concerned as they closed earlier than usual last night (before 11pm) and he wanted to make sure I was alright. He is such a sweet man when I mentioned that I had spoken to the manager and he had told me that they had a scale in the kitchen that I could use to weigh my suitcases, he quickly went and got it so I could weigh the bag I had been working on. As he was hooking it in the doorway the yard man that cleans the steps in the morning appeared and insisted on helping so I would not have to lift.

Well ......... one suitcase is way over, I guess I will have to consider what else I need to give away but each gift is so very special to me. It will be hard to decide, I'm thankful that I'll have a couple of days to think it over.

Alfred and I had a great "Mom - Son" time this afternoon and talked about a number  of things important to both of us, he is such a blessing to my life. When we went for dinner I just wanted something  different from the delicious African flavored foods I had eaten for the last six weeks. Last year at this time I tried pizza and I will only say ...... it did not meet my expectations or desired taste bud flavor. But tonight I felt adventurous and decided  to try something I had seen on the menu the first night I got here ........ a Joka's cheeseburger & fries. When it came the size was more that I expected for sure and the taste was pretty good EXCEPT for the sliced hard boiled egg right under the cheese which I removed. There were lots of "relish items" on the top and bottom of sliced sm. peppers and sliced sm. red onion, ect. and a little salad on the side. Even though I had to do some compressing of the bread to get my bites all and all ...... Yummm!
A scarf & shopping bag for the sweet gal that serves our evening meals.

A hamburger of GIANT proportions

Tomorrow I will be visiting a new church for me, it's another one of the churches that Pastor Geoffrey oversees, it will be my last ministry speaking time. Please pray for open hearts for the Gospel.

It is so very hard to believe six weeks has passed and I only have one more night to sleep here but I am so thankful for each day I've been here.

Good night all.

That none would be lost,